AT&T announced that it wants Artificial Intelligence (AI) development open to everyone. To that end, they have entered into a collaboration with Tech Mahindra to develop an open source AI platform, dubbed Acumos, which will be hosted by Linux Foundation. The goal is an open source marketplace where it will be easy to build, share, and deploy AI applications.
The evolution of AI over the past several decades has brought us from the SCI-FI world of the 1950’s to today, where AI is beginning to permeate everything we do. Development of AI is currently complex and expensive. AT&T and Tech Mahindra would like to develop an extensive framework for Machine Learning (ML). They see the need, in order to keep up with customer demand, to have applications that are reusable, easily accessible outside the creator’s domain, and that are simple to deploy.
Acumos will be a framework for ML, that is designed to be extended, and allows for editing, integration, package composition, training, and deployment. AI applications in Acumos can be chained together, in order to create complex services.
An example is the use of video analytics. Acumos will host a variety of applications, such as location track or facial recognition. A developer comes in, selects a location track and a facial recognition application, and Acumos puts them together in a single application, with minimal coding. This creates the new application for a video that can, for example, identify landmarks and the people in the video.
“Our goal with open sourcing the Acumos platform is to make building and deploying AI applications as easy as creating a website,” said Mazin Gilbert, vice president of Advanced Technology at AT&T Labs. “We’re collaborating with Tech Mahindra to establish an industry standard for AI in the networking space. We invite others to join us to create a global harmonization in AI and set the stage for all future AI network applications and services.”
AT&T and Tech Mahindra would like to see AI open source, able to federate, with easy access. The more users, the better the applications and the products will be.
AT&T is using the next generation network platform, AT&T Indigo. This platform was used to launch ONAP, although AT&T notes that it had spent a lot of time developing ECOMP, prior to opening it up for development.
In this case, AT&T and Tech Mahindra recognize that this is a faster release to open source. This will improve the platform, as well as the products and applications that are developed from it.
“Our investment in AI solutions over the past few years is helping us find tremendous opportunity to make it simpler for higher adoption,” said Raman Abrol, SVP & Strategic Business Unit Head at Tech Mahindra. “In collaboration with AT&T, we will help enable enterprises (to) apply AI to reimagine business models, unlock the potential of data and drive business outcomes. Our ultimate goal with the Acumos Project is to accelerate and industrialize the deployment of AI at enterprises and get developers and businesses to collaborate effectively in order to improve how we all live, work and play.”
“With the Acumos Project, AT&T and Tech Mahindra are leading the way in bringing AI and machine learning tools to the developer community,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Making it easy for developers to get involved and to really steer the ecosystem around the project in the direction they want it to go is the key to making the Acumos platform successful.”